Inbox and Environment News: Issue 325

August 13 - 10, 2017: Issue 325

Congratulations Past Artist Of The Month Taj Ralph: Triple J Unearthed High 2017 Finalists Announced

Two months ago triple j put the call out to Australia’s best high school acts to enter Unearthed High. With alumni like Gretta Ray, Japanese Wallpaper, Asta, Mosquito Coast, Montaigne, Baro and Hockey Dad all going on to do massive things since first appearing in the competition, the ‘Class of 2017’ had a lot to live up to…

And they delivered. Over 1,000 high school aged bands, solo acts, producers and MCs from all over the country uploaded their music to in the 10th year of the competition. With the calibre of entries, it was tricky to narrow it down to just five finalists, but we think you’ll agree that these acts are an inspiring group of young Australians worthy of celebrating.

Here are Australia’s best high school music acts in 2017:
Arno Faraji – ‘Destiny’s’ (Shenton College, Perth WA) Arno Faraji is one of the most exciting young hip hop artists in the country, with his keen, future-leaning productions only matched by his whip smart raps and oozing charisma.

Ninajirachi – ‘Pure Luck {Ft. Freya Staer}’ (Gosford High School, Gosford NSW) Backing up her 2016 Unearthed High finalist appearance, Nina returns with another high-quality production earning wide spread praise and a spot on the 2017 Listen Out lineup. And all that on the cusp of turning 18!
Stevie Jean – ‘Hell In Every Religion’ (Darwin High School, Darwin NT) Stevie Jean’s voice is unstoppable. The 17-year-old marries that immense voice with songwriting that is ignited with raw emotional power. It’ll have you in a sweat by the time its four minutes are up, demanding you to experience it again.

SŸDE – ‘Orbit {Ft. Ashe}’ (Caulfield Grammar, Melbourne VIC) Juggling school and a burgeoning music career, this Melbourne duo’s super clean, chilled-house track ‘Orbit {Ft. Ashe}’ has struck a chord globally, amassing more than 8 million plays on streaming services and lighting a path to big things ahead.

Taj Ralph – ‘Beat The Keeper’ (Mosman High School, Sydney NSW) Already receiving nods from industry heavyweights like Horrorshow and Amy Shark, this 16 year old solo artist’s music is rich in sound and ideas but you can still hear his roots as a busker shine through.

triple j Unearthed Music Director Dave Ruby Howe says “It’s exhilarating to discover the amazing creations coming out of bedrooms and garages around Australia and this year’s crop of artists has been as bountiful as ever. Picking just five finalists is super difficult but we couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to the most outstanding acts from 2017’s Unearthed High, who’ll be leading the next generation of Australian music.”

Tune in to triple j over the next week as Ben & Liam surprise the 2017 Unearthed High winner at their school. The winner will also be flown to triple j to record, mix or master their music, which will be played on triple j and triple j Unearthed.

In the meantime, head on over to to download and stream all the 2017 Unearthed High entries and heaps more amazing Aussie music for free.

triple j Unearthed – discovering new Australian music

Taj Ralph - Beat The Keeper

Published on 23 Mar 2017
Beat The Keeper, shot and edited By Andrew Ilicic.

Summer Scholarships At National Library Of Australia

Applications for 2018 Summer Scholarships open on 31 July 2017 and will close 30 September 2017.

We offer annual summer scholarships to support younger scholars undertaking postgraduate research requiring special access to the Library’s collections. These scholarships are made possible through the generosity of the family of the late Norman McCann (a former National Library Council Member), and of John and Heather Seymour. 

Preference for Norman McCann Scholarships will be given to those working in the disciplines of Australian history, Australian literature, librarianship, archives administration or museum studies. Preference for Seymour Scholarships will be for those undertaking biographical research.

The scholarships are tenable for a period of six weeks commencing in the second week of January each year. Scholars have privileged access to the Library’s materials and facilities, as well as sustained interaction with many of its staff.

Who can apply?
The scholarships are open to students who have commenced PhD study and are under the age of thirty at 31 December in the year of their application (note: age limit is a condition requested by the donors). Applicants must be Australian citizens or have permanent residency. Preference will be given to applicants who would otherwise find it difficult to use the Library’s collections for reasons such as geographic distance from Canberra.

In selecting scholars the National Library of Australia Fellowships Advisory Committee will consider:

  • an applicant's academic potential and capacity for research
  • the value and quality of the proposed research at the Library to the applicant's academic progress
  • the relevance of the National Library's collections for the proposed research
Instructions for applicants
  • Register as an applicant
  • You can only submit your application online. Instructions are provided during the application process.
  • After you have submitted an application, you will receive a confirmation email. A reference number and a copy of your application will be attached to the email.
  • You are required to attach to your application a PDF copy of a certified transcript of your academic record and a PDF copy of a recently completed piece of research writing (eg a thesis chapter).
  • You must nominate two referees, with their current contact details. The National Library will directly contact your referees but it is your responsibility to provide referees with a copy of your application.
  • Applications close on 30 September 2017.
What assistance is offered?
Scholarship holders will receive an honorarium of $300 per week plus twin share accommodation with breakfast included, at University House at the ANU for the six-week duration of the scholarship. A return economy class air fare from the scholarship holder's home within Australia will also be provided.

Fellowships and scholarships

Really Bad Poetry For You!

This Issue we're commencing a series pages written just for you - visit: Helmets: No 1 in Really Bad Poetry for Children

FOI Documents Reveal Independent NSW Commission Made Secret CSG Trip With Santos

August 11, 2017: Lock the Gate
Documents obtained by Lock the Gate under freedom of information laws reveal that the independent commission charged with making decisions about major gas projects in NSW conducted a secret trip with Santos to tour it’s CSG gasfield and LNG export terminal.

Lock the Gate alleges that the clandestine tour by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission was outside the scope of its responsibilities and in breach of its code of conduct.

“This is another appalling example of the gas industry getting a special deal and exclusive access to decision makers behind closed doors, while the community is left out in the cold” said Lock the Gate Coordinator, Georgina Woods.

The documents reveal that the Planning Assessment Commission began organising the trip while the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a highly controversial Santos CSG project near Narrabri in North West NSW was still on exhibition for public feedback.

The EIS received a record 23,000 submissions, almost all of which were objections.

The Planning Assessment Commission is expected to be the final decision maker on the Santos Narrabri Gas Project. However, it is only supposed to assess projects after they have been specifically referred to it by the Planning Minister in a formal process. That process has not yet commenced for the Narrabri Gas Project.

“We were shocked to discover the Commission had sought out a one-sided briefing and field trip with Santos before the public had even had a chance to finish commenting on the Environmental Impact Statement for the Narrabri Gas Project” Ms Woods said.

“This act of bad faith by the Commission has cruelled any trust the community might have had that objectors to Santos’ gasfield at Narrabri will be given fair hearing.

“While 22,000 people were patiently reading the Environmental Impact Statement, researching the risks of CSG and writing objections to the gasfield, the body that would decide whether it goes ahead was organising a one-sided secret briefing with the proponent that has hopelessly compromised it.

“The Code of Conduct for the Commission requires it to act transparently and fairly.

“It’s brutally clear that the Commission has broken that code by making secret trips to Queensland and seeking out the one-sided views of a CSG company, without hearing from anyone that has been hurt or damaged by this industry” she said.

If the PAC holds a public hearing on the Narrabri Gas Project in the future, then the rights of communities to challenge the merits of the project in the Land and Environment Court will be lost.

“We’re calling on the Minister for Planning to act urgently to address this situation - we want a firm commitment that communities will retain the right to to challenge the Narrabri Gas Project in the Land and Environment Court.

“The community now doesn’t have any faith in the impartiality of the Commission as the decision-maker on the Narrabri Gas Project - only full access to the court can assure us that there will be an independent, unbiased decision on this risky project” Ms Woods said.

The documents are available for viewing via this link

Abbot Point Coal Fined For Stormwater Release

11 August 2017: Media release - QLD Department of Environment and Heritage ProtectionQueensland Government

Abbot Point Bulk Coal Pty Ltd has been fined for an unauthorised stormwater release from its coal handling facility that occurred during Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March this year.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection issued the company with a $12,190 penalty infringement notice (PIN) on 20 July for breaching conditions of a temporary emissions licence (TEL) that was issued to the company on 27 March this year.

Abbot Point Bulk Coal was granted the TEL during Tropical Cyclone Debbie which permitted an elevated suspended solid limit (100 mg per litre) on stormwater releases from the terminal during the high rainfall associated with the event.

However, the company advised EHP on 6 April that a non-compliance with the conditions of the TEL had occurred with a release of stormwater from the terminal containing suspended solids recorded at 806 mg per litre. This stormwater was discharged to the surrounding marine waters.

The company’s environmental authority and TEL contained strict conditions that should have been adhered to in ensuring the environment was protected, especially during extreme weather events.

Temporary emissions licences and environmental authorities are not taken lightly by the department and there can be harsh penalties for companies that breach their approvals.

Please note – the stormwater release that is the subject of the PIN did not enter the adjacent Caley Valley wetlands. EHP’s investigations into releases into the wetlands is ongoing.

Abbott Point Bulk Coal Pty Ltd has until 17 August 2017 to elect to contest the PIN in court.

Fine Shows Adani Can't Be Trusted

August 11, 2017: Media Release - Australian Conservation Foundation
In response to the $12,000 fine slapped on Adani for releasing more than eight times its licenced concentration of pollution from the Abbot Point coal terminal in March, Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner, Basha Stasak, said:

“This fine again shows Adani can’t be trusted. And it is further evidence that Adani’s history of environmental breaches will continue in Australia.

“Adani received a relaxed special licence from the Queensland Environment Department to release pollution into the ocean from the Abbot Point coal terminal during Cyclone Debbie. But even under these conditions they exceeded their allowed limit by more than 800 percent.

“If Adani can’t safely operate the Abbot Point coal terminal, how can they be trusted to build Australia’s biggest coal mine? This is not a company that should be trusted with our Great Barrier Reef, our clean water or the fate of the endangered Black Throated Finch.”

Leases Granted For Surat Coal Project

Tuesday, August 08, 2017: Media Statement - Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham
Mining giant Glencore has the been granted the first mining leases for a major coal development in the Surat Basin in Queensland’s south-west.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today approved the grant of three 27-year leases over 30,000 ha for Stage 1 of Glencore’s proposed $7 billion Wandoan coal project near Roma.

When operational, a new mine could produce up to 22 million tonnes of high-quality thermal coal annually.

This would be the first major coal project of this scale in the Surat Basin, and still requires a rail link to the Port of Gladstone for export.   

New Mine Approval Shows Queensland Government Taking One Step Forward, Two Steps Back On Coal

August 10, 2017:Media Release - Australian Conservation Foundation
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has expressed significant alarm at the Queensland Government’s approval of a massive new coal mine on prime agricultural land near Roma.

“This announcement by Mines Minister Anthony Lynham is a shocker.” ACF Climate and Clean Energy Campaigner, Jason Lyddieth, said.

“One week it looks like the Palaszczuk Government understands the urgent need to act on climate change by backing new clean energy projects. The next they undo it all by making a terrible decision like this.

“There is absolutely no reason to allow a massive multinational coal company to dig another big dirty hole on some of Queensland's best farming land.

“For many years local farmers have been fighting this coal mine and this decision is a kick in the teeth for the Australian soldier settlers who have lived and relied on this land for generations. 

“Earlier this year a massive solar project near Roma was approved with the overwhelming support of the community. That is the kind of decision the Queensland Government needs to be making, not more dirty coal.

‘We know that big coal mines like this waste our precious water. We know they divide communities. We know that digging up coal and burning it is polluting our air and fueling climate change.

‘The Queensland Government needs to get serious about preparing for a carbon pollution free world. It needs to get serious about our water, our land and our air.’

Update On Baleen 2D HR Seismic Survey 

(The survey comprises 46 2D lines of total length 208km.) - 
NOPSEMA 'Not reasonably satisfied – opportunity to modify EP'
Decision date: 03/08/2017 
Titleholder action Resubmission due date3: 02/09/2017

From Decision notification:
Basis of decision 
NOPSEMA has assessed the environment plan in accordance with its assessment policies and procedures. 

On completion of assessment, NOPSEMA has decided that it is not reasonably satisfied that the environment plan meets the criteria below as set out in regulation 10A of the Environment Regulations: 
(a) is appropriate for the nature and scale of the activity 
(b) demonstrates that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity will be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable 
(c) demonstrates that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity will be of an acceptable level 
(d) provides for appropriate environmental performance outcomes, environmental performance standards and measurement criteria 
(e) includes an appropriate implementation strategy and monitoring, recording and reporting arrangements 
(g) demonstrates that: 
(i) the titleholder has carried out the consultations required by Division 2.2A 
(ii) the measures (if any) that the titleholder has adopted, or proposes to adopt, because of the consultations are appropriate 

Titleholder requirements 
For OMR decision In accordance with regulation 10, the titleholder is required to modify and resubmit the environment plan. Upon resubmission of the plan, NOPSEMA will continue to assess the submission in 
accordance with its assessment policies and make a decision under regulation 10. After a titleholder has been provided with reasonable opportunity to modify and resubmit an environment plan, NOPSEMA will 
make a final decision on whether to accept or refuse to accept the environment plan. 
Animated photo

Muogamarra Season 2017

Hidden wildflower garden open for just six weekends
31 July 2017: NPWS and NSW OE&H
A hidden wildflower garden with a rare collection of botanical treasures and native plant species will open its gates this August and September for six weekends only.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Area Manager Michele Cooper said Muogamarra Nature Reserve-just north of Sydney-is home to more than 900 species of native plants as well as the remnants of an ancient volcano.

"Muogamarra is home to a vast range of Australian wildflowers such as native orchids, towering Gymea lily, pink Boronia, eriostemon and old-man Banksia, which makes it a spectacular wildflower destination," said Ms Cooper.

"This unique array of flora and fauna is one reason why we need to limit the opening times to just six weekends each year to allow it to flourish, to preserve the fragile ecosystems and to protect the reserve's Aboriginal cultural heritage.

"This year during our open season, visitors can join a Discovery guided tour on foot or on a kayak and discover the secrets of this special place," she said.

Some of the walking tracks in the reserve provide outstanding views of the Hawkesbury, Aboriginal rock engravings and convict built roads, and other tracks wind through rainforest and historic relics.

One of the guided walks leads people down to Peat's Crater, which is an unusual volcanic structure called a diatreme that is not found in many parts of Australia.

"By joining a guided walk you'll will see and learn all the secrets of the reserve that you might miss by going on your own," said Ms Cooper.

The launch weekend (12-13 August) will also mark the 50th anniversary of NPWS.

"The Muogamarra open season will launch on Saturday 12 August with a Welcome to Country by Uncle Ray Davison, cultural workshops throughout the day delivered by Aboriginal Discovery Ranger Jess Sinnott, and activities for young children including free show bags for the first 50 children," said Ms Cooper.

"While visitors can certainly come along on any of the weekends during our open season and explore the park at their own pace, keep in mind that the Discovery walks and kayak tours will need to be pre-booked online as numbers are limited and places can fill up quickly," she said.

Muogamarra Nature Reserve will open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 12 August until Sunday 17 September 2017.

What's on
  • Discovery tours include the Muogamarra Highlights Walk (new in 2017), Muogamarra Bird Gully Walk, Muogamarra Lloyd Trig Walk and Muogamarra Peats Bight Walk.
  • A kayaking tour is also available: Paddle our Parks Muogamarra, the first of which will take place on Saturday 12 August.
  • An event in celebration of the NPWS 50 Year Anniversary will take place on the first weekend (12 - 13 August).
More information
Prior bookings are essential for the guided walks and kayak tours and can be made by visiting the NPWS website: 

Muogamurra Nature Reserve is located on the western side of the Pacific Highway, 3.35 kilometres north of Cowan Station.

A park access fee applies during the 6 annual open weekends of $15 for adults, $10 for children, and $40 for families of 2 adults and 2 children.

Have Your Say On Marine Park Draft Plans 

21 July 2017: Media release - Australian Government, Director of National Parks
Australia is surrounded by magnificent oceans and a marine environment that is the envy of the world. Our marine parks are distinctive and diverse, home to marine life found nowhere else.
And from today you can have your say on how we will manage our marine parks into the future.

The Director of National Parks Sally Barnes has released five draft plans to manage 44 Australian Marine Parks over the next 10 years.
“Our marine parks protect important marine habitats and species,” Ms Barnes said.

“They also support people’s livelihoods and the Australian lifestyle. They provide places for people to watch wildlife, dive and snorkel, go boating, and fish. They create jobs in industries like fishing and tourism, and are a source of food and energy.”

Ms Barnes said Australian Marine Parks recognised our oceans as a shared resource -– protecting our environment and supporting the sustainability of our fishing industry and the communities whose livelihoods rely on it.

“I’d encourage everyone to take a look at these five plans my team at Parks Australia have put together,” she said.

“This is your chance to influence how we’ll manage a large area of our marine environment over the next 10 years. We want to hear from you, all of you. It’s your passion that will make marine parks work for everyone.”

Australian Marine Parks (also known as Commonwealth marine reserves) were established in 2012 to protect our oceans. This was a significant contribution to Australia’s marine parks which now cover more than 3.3 million square kilometres of ocean – that’s an area the size of India.

“Before creating these plans, my team and I met with many of you from across our country. We listened to many people, fishers, conservationists, tourism operators, traditional owners and coastal communities before writing these plans,” Ms Barnes said.

“These draft plans balance our commitment to protect the marine environment, while supporting a sustainable fishing industry, promoting tourism and providing cultural, recreational and economic benefits for coastal communities.”

Australian Marine Parks are located in Commonwealth waters that start at the outer edge of state and territory waters, generally no less than three nautical miles (5.5 km) from the shore, and extend to the outer boundary of Australia’s exclusive economic zone, 200 nautical miles (about 370 km) from the shore. The draft plans cover Commonwealth waters off the coast of New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Individual marine parks have been carefully zoned to include representative examples of Australia’s marine habitats and features. This builds the resilience of our marine environment to withstand pressures, including some of the impacts of climate change, cyclones, marine pollution, and invasive species.

Ms Barnes has considered comments from over 54,000 submissions providing feedback on the preparation of draft plans. She has also considered the recommendations from the independent review of Commonwealth marine reserves released in 2016; the best available science; the expertise of traditional owners on managing sea country; and experiences from those managing Australian and international marine parks.

“Finalising these plans makes us one of the world’s leaders in marine protection. Already our country’s marine parks cover 36 per cent of waters around this country. That’s more than comparable to many similar countries, like the United States, France, Canada, Mexico or Chile,” Ms Barnes said.

“I truly believe that we will enhance our international reputation as marine park managers with these plans. But I want to hear your thoughts on whether we’ve got that balance right. Doing nothing is not an option for anyone – we want to provide certainty to all. So please have a read of the plans, and let us know what you think.”
To reduce any impacts on commercial fishers, the Australian Government will make funding available to assist those directly affected by the new arrangements.

The draft plans can be found at .

We are seeking your feedback on whether we have the balance right in these draft plans.  Please send your feedback on these draft plans or the proposed renaming by 20 September 2017, by:

1. Filling in our feedback form, available at: 

3. Writing (free of charge) to: 
Australian Marine Parks Management Planning Comments
Department of the Environment and Energy
Reply Paid 787
Canberra ACT 2601
To help us to consider your feedback, please: 
• Say what you would like to see kept or changed in the plan/s and why
• Refer your points to a specific marine park or use, where appropriate
• Give sources of any information you refer to, where possible.
 Please note, comments sent after 11.59 pm AEST Wednesday 20 September 2017 or to an address other than those listed above cannot be considered.
 Comments may be made public. Personal information provided to us will be dealt with in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles. 

Further information and our privacy notice is available Your personal information may be disclosed to the Minister, relevant government agencies, the Australian Parliament and where required by law. 

Your submission may also be published online by the Director of National Parks. Please tell us in your submission if you do not want it published. Your submission will still be considered in the Director’s Report on the Preparation of the Management Plans, and may be provided to the Minister and tabled before Parliament.

Important facts and figures
With 36 per cent of Australia’s waters included in marine parks, we are well ahead of both the international benchmark ‘Aichi target’ of 10 per cent by 2020, and a recent World Conservation Congress resolution calling for 30 per cent by 2030.

According to data from the IUCN’s World Database on Protected Areas, we compare very favourably with the United States of America (41 per cent), New Zealand (30 per cent), the United Kingdom (28 per cent), Mexico (22 per cent), Canada (less than 1 per cent), and France (15 per cent).

Under the zoning proposed in the draft plans, the portion of green (or no take) zones within all of the marine parks managed by the Commonwealth would be 25 per cent.

There is no reliable ‘league table’ against which we can compare this with other nations as methodology and reporting differ considerably, but we are among the closest nations to meeting the 2016 call by the World Conservation Congress four countries to designate 30 per cent of their marine parks to have no extractive activities.

Thanks to our carefully targeted approach to zoning, the same number of conservation features are protected in green zones in the plans released today as those in 2012.

Australia’s biodiversity hotspots and sites of ecological significance, including Coral Sea reefs and the Bremer Reserve are protected in these plans.

97 per cent of waters within 100 kilometres of the coast are open for recreational fishing.

By intelligently zoning conservation areas like this, we have halved the economic impact on commercial fishers compared with 2012, from $8.2 million to $4.1 million a year (that’s less than 0.3 per cent of total income generated by Australia’s wild catch fisheries). This zoning will also enable a continued Australian tuna fishing industry based out of northern Queensland.

The Australian Government has committed an additional $56.1 million over four years to fund the management of Australian Marine Parks.
Our more balanced approach means there is a significant increase in yellow zones – where the seafloor is protected, but activities like diving and fishing are allowed. Our green zones are based on the best available science – while minimising impacts on our important tourism and fishing industries.

Have Your Say On New Environmental Measures For Scrap Metal Businesses

Media release: 26 July 2017 - EPA
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is inviting the community to have a say on proposed minimum environmental standards for scrap metal facilities.

The scrap metal industry in NSW ranges from small car wrecking yards to large metal processing facilities, and plays an important role in diverting waste from landfill and recovering resources.

While many operators in the industry are doing the right thing, some scrap metal businesses have shown poor environmental controls and inadequate management practices. Common issues across the industry have required regulatory action by the EPA and other agencies. These issues include management of oils and solvents, air pollution and odour issues, noise and vibration, fire risks and the on-site management of waste. Inadequate management of these issues can lead to pollution incidents, including soil and groundwater contamination. 

To address these environmental concerns, the EPA has drafted a consultation paper that outlines proposed minimum environmental standards across the scrap metal industry. These standards include things like putting controls in place for the safe storage and disposal of liquids and chemicals, no burning of waste on site, measures to minimise noise and vibrations, and the construction of bunds to manage any spills. If adopted these standards would be legislated and apply across the industry.

EPA Executive Director Waste and Resource Recovery Steve Beaman said the proposed standards were an important step in the right direction.

“Many scrap metal businesses are doing the right thing but there are some outliers putting the environment at risk,” Mr Beaman said.

“It’s important for the community – including people working in the scrap metal business – to have their say on these proposed environmental standards so that when they come into force, they accurately reflect the challenges and realities of the industry.”

To view the consultation paper and provide feedback please visit the EPA website 
The submission period closes at 5pm on 18 September 2017.

Statement In Response To Four Corners Program

Media release: 8 August 2017 - EPA
The NSW Government has the strongest waste regulations in the country as well as one of the highest recycling rates compared to other states. In 2014/15, NSW residents and business recycled more than 10.4 million tonnes of waste, or about 63% of the waste generated.

NSW’s waste levy is in place to drive recycling behaviour, and reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. This funding goes back in to paying for recycling services and new infrastructure for the community, along with other government services.

Waste disposal and management is complex, encompassing multiple industries and levels of government. The proximity principle was introduced with the intention of keeping waste managed locally and to address the issues associated with interstate waste transport. It has proven challenging to enforce so the NSW EPA is leading work with its interstate counterparts to discuss national approach to waste regulation.

The EPA has a strong prosecution track record. In the past financial year, it completed 100 prosecutions with about $2.36 million in fines issued, making it a record year for financial penalties.

The EPA is actively investigating a number of sites on the Central Coast that have significant landfill activity.

The EPA was made aware of potential illegal landfilling at Spencer in December 2015 in a report from a RID Squad inspector. At this time, Central Coast Council (formerly Gosford Council) was the regulator for the site, which means the Council had full responsibility for investigation of the site.

Contrary to allegations that the EPA has been unresponsive on the Spencer site, a complex investigation is underway, gathering evidence to prosecute the alleged perpetrators. The EPA is compiling a comprehensive bank of evidence for the investigation, requiring assessment of a large volume of seized material, investigation of over 70 waste transporters, and interactions with parties known to have a violent history. The EPA is currently finalising a brief for criminal prosecution and is in court with the persons of interest.

Regarding the site at Mangrove Mountain, the EPA was not the consent authority at the time referenced in the Four Corners report. The Central Coast Council (formerly Gosford Council) was responsible for compliance with the consent. However, as a result of the EPA’s concerns regarding the site, no landfilling activity has occurred at the site since 2014.

Additionally, as a result of the EPA’s work with the community to improve the operation of the landfill, the Central Coast Council has advised the EPA that a new or modified development consent is required which mandates consultation with the community. The future size and scale of the landfill is determined by this development consent. The EPA will commission further independent advice on improved environmental controls should the landfill remain in abeyance. An independent expert review has found that the current landfill is not impacting water quality.

Illegal dumping is an abhorrent environmental crime. It leads to pollution, risks human health and leads to unsightly community spaces. Combating illegal dumping is of the highest priority for the EPA, and the EPA is working with the NSW Government to reduce illegal dumping incidents by 30 per cent in 2020.

The NSW Government has committed more than $800 million to waste management and recycling over nine years (2012—2021). From 2017 until 2021 almost $340 million will go towards recycling and waste management, including $88.5 million for resource recovery infrastructure, $57 million for household problem waste programs, including $37 million for community recycling centre collections and processing, $70 million for councils’ waste and resource recovery projects, $65 million to combat illegal dumping and $30 million for litter reduction programs.

NSW EPA Statement Regarding Four Corners

Media release: 9 August 2017 - EPA
The NSW Environment Protection Authority Chair and CEO Barry Buffier said he had considered the ABC TV Four Corners program (7 August), which raised significant issues and included an interview with EPA Executive Director for Waste and Resource Recovery Stephen Beaman.

"The Four Corners program contained allegations about corruption in the waste industry and suggested, or implied, corrupt conduct through inaction by the EPA in response to notifications of illegal waste activities.

"Consequently, I have referred this matter to ICAC today.

"The EPA has the toughest waste regulations in the country and puts significant effort into regulating the waste industry, monitoring compliance and taking enforcement action, and that work will continue."

Mr Beaman will be taking four weeks recreation leave, effective today.

IF you missed it, watch 'Trashed' online and hear how tonnes of rubbish, including asbestos, has been illegally dumped into the Hawkesbury for years.


August 8, 2017: Central Coast Council
Central Coast Council is aware the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is investigating issues arising from the use of the site at Spencer. Council is also investigating other aspects of the use of the site. Council will not interfere with the EPA’s investigation or any other investigations by making public comment.

The former Gosford City Council commenced proceedings regarding the Mangrove Mountain site in the Land and Environment Court regarding alleged breaches of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The Land and Environment Court proceedings were resolved by the Court making orders, which are a matter of public record.

The future use of the Mangrove Mountain site, and the time frame for such use, is a matter for the owner of the site.  However any use will need to comply with relevant laws, and Council will, where it is the relevant authority under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act for that future use, deal with applications it receives from the site owner. Once that future use is the subject of a relevant consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, the owner may seek the issue of an environment protection licence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act from the NSW EPA.

The EPA’s website contains a register of the licenses it has issued, including those that relate to the Mangrove Mountain site.

Council is aware of environmental testing undertaken in and around the Mangrove Mountain site, and based on that testing understands that risks associated with the landfill are being managed so as to ensure the nearby waterways are not affected.

It is not appropriate for Council to comment on the employment of, or the circumstances of termination, by the former Gosford City Council of Mr Chestnut.

Council confirms that neither Mr Chestnut, nor any former staff of the former Gosford Council or of this Council that may have been interviewed by Four Corners are spokespersons for Central Coast Council.

Domestic waste collected from residents’ red lid bins is disposed of in Council’s Buttonderry Waste Management Facility and Woy Woy landfill with environmental management at the forefront.  This arrangement will continue when the new contractor, Cleanaway, takes over waste services on 1 February 2018.

Council’s current contractor, Remondis uses a sub-contractor, PAR at Somersby to do glass recycling. Glass collected from yellow recycling bins is crushed, washed and used as a sand alternative for civil construction works here on the Central Coast and in the Hunter.

Bushcare in Pittwater 

For further information or to confirm the meeting details for below groups, please contact Council's Bushcare Officer on 9970 1367

Where we work                      Which day                              What time 

Angophora Reserve             3rd Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 
Avalon Dunes                        1st Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 
Avalon Golf Course              2nd Wednesday                 3 - 5:30pm 
Careel Creek                         4th Saturday                      8:30 - 11:30am 
Toongari Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer) 
Bangalley Headland            2nd Sunday                         9 to 12noon 

Winnererremy Bay                 4th Sunday                        9 to 12noon 

North Bilgola Beach              3rd Monday                        9 - 12noon 
Algona Reserve                     1st Saturday                       9 - 12noon 
Plateau Park                          1st Friday                            8:30 - 11:30am 

Church Point     
Browns Bay Reserve             1st Tuesday                        9 - 12noon 
McCarrs Creek Reserve       Contact Bushcare Officer     To be confirmed 

Old Wharf Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      8 - 11am 

Kundibah Reserve                   4th Sunday                       8:30 - 11:30am 

Mona Vale     
Mona Vale Beach Basin          1st Saturday                    8 - 11am 
Mona Vale Dunes                     2nd Saturday+3rd Thursday     8:30 - 11:30am 

Bungan Beach                          4th Sunday                      9 - 12noon 
Crescent Reserve                    3rd Sunday                      9 - 12noon 
North Newport Beach              4th Saturday                    8:30 - 11:30am 
Porter Reserve                          2nd Saturday                  8 - 11am 

North Narrabeen     
Irrawong Reserve                     3rd Saturday                   2 - 5pm 

Palm Beach     
North Palm Beach Dunes      3rd Saturday                    9 - 12noon 

Scotland Island     
Catherine Park                          2nd Sunday                     10 - 12:30pm 
Elizabeth Park                           1st Saturday                      9 - 12noon 
Pathilda Reserve                      3rd Saturday                      9 - 12noon 

Warriewood Wetlands             1st Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 

Whale Beach     
Norma Park                               1st Friday                            9 - 12noon 

Western Foreshores     
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay      2nd Sunday                        10 - 1pm 
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay           1st Monday                          9 - 12noon

Free Guided Bush Walk

Dundundra Falls Reserve, Terrey Hills.
10th September 10 -12 pm at Myoora end of Larool Road Fire Trail Terrey Hills
Come down and enjoy the wild flowers and have all your questions answered by our qualified bush consultant.

This reserve is exploding with colour at the moment so even if you can’t make this special walk you can come down anytime and enjoy our new map and information signs and appreciate what this 40 Hectare recreational Reserve is all about.

Wear clothes and shoes suitable for bush walking and be prepared for Ticks and Leeches as unfortunately they like living here too. 

Navigation Warning - NSW Coastal Waters: Whale Migration Season

June to December 2017

Migrating whales and whale calves are expected to be present in numbers off the NSW coast during this time.

From June to August whales will be in greater abundance generally moving north within about five nautical miles (nine kilometres) of the coast.

From August to December whales will be in greater abundance generally moving south within about 10-15 nautical miles (18-28 kilometres) of the coast.

From July to December Southern Right Whales with calves are likely to be present within 10 nautical miles of the NSW coast and within coastal estuaries.

Within this period it is expected that whale sightings may be common and mariners are advised to navigate with due care and appropriate caution around any whale activity, including reducing to an appropriate speed to maintain safe navigation.

The approach distance for whales in NSW and Commonwealth waters is 100 metres for whales without calves.  If calves are present the approach distance is 300 metres.

In the event of a collision with a whale, entanglement or whale carcass sighting please call:

National Parks and Wildlife Service Incident Duty Officer on: 02 9895 6444

Charts: AUS 806 to AUS 813 Inclusive.

RMS Coastal Boating Maps: 1-14 Inclusive.

Contact Details:

For further details please contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Team on 9585 6523 or (RMS Contact details 13 12 36)

Information regarding the current location of whales may be obtained at:

Further information about whale approach distances or whale behaviour may be obtained from the Office of Environment and Heritage website at:


Whale Records Go North

Media release: 7 August 2017
Eagle-eyed whale watchers have counted a record number of whales migrating north along the NSW coast since the volunteer count began in 1998, Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said on Monday, 7 August.

Volunteers at Cape Solander in Kamay Botany Bay National Park counted 4813 whales heading for warmer waters compared to 3033 last year.

"We had a bumper number of sightings this year. The most number of whales ever counted in one day was also recorded on 26 June after 224 whales were spotted," Ms Upton said.

Humpback whales dominated the count. Only two southern right whales were spotted during the 2017 season, along with 17 minke whales.

The data is collected to help estimate migrating whale populations. Experts estimate around 30,000 humpback whales alone will migrate north along the NSW coastline this year to head for warmer waters before returning between September and November with their newborn calves.

Ms Upton thanked the group of 16 volunteers who count the northern migration of the humpback whales from the end of May until the end of July each year - this year they are celebrating 20 years of counting.

"These trained community volunteers dedicated more than 2000 hours of their time to the whale count program this year," Ms Upton said.

Volunteer Wayne Reynolds, who has a background in volunteer whale rescue, has been involved in the project for 20 years.

"Cape Solander is a real focal point for community education about whales and it's been wonderful to be part of a close knit group of loyal volunteers," Mr Reynolds said.

"We're now seeing thousands of humpbacks pass by Cape Solander every winter, and it's also been a thrill to see the occasional blue, southern right and killer whale over the years," he said.

The whale distance regulations for boaters is to stay at least 300 metres from a whale with its calf and 50 metres away from adult dolphins.

Log on to the Wild about Whales website to see the other regulations: NSW National Parks: Wild About Whales: Approach zones

Stranded, entangled, or sick whales should be reported immediately to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Environment Line on 131 555 or ORRCA (Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia) Whale and Dolphin Rescue on 02 9415 3333 (24 hour hotline).

Giant Lobster Ale

By Wilderness Society
We’re on a mission to stop extinction and save a legend. The Tasmanian giant freshwater lobster lives deep in the rainforest, but plans for logging in its habitat are clouding this extraordinary and already endangered creature’s future.

Fortunately, we’ve got a plan too – beer.  Introducing Giant Lobster Ale. The beer that stops extinction.

The dog-sized snapper
The lobster is as big as a corgi, lives for decades, and the freshwater mountain streams of Northern Tasmania is the only place on Earth where you can find one — but the most legendary thing about the lobster? It opens beers with its massive claws.

As legend has it, the early bushmen of Tasmania would befriend these gentle forest giants and get them to crack coldies with their powerful pincers.*

*Don’t even think about trying it, the lobster is a protected species these days.

Democracy lobster
Sadly, the lobster is disappearing because its rainforest home is being destroyed by logging.

We know that a vital Recovery Plan for the lobster is making its way to the desk of Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. So we’ll send him the first beer off the production line as a tasty reminder to ensure the species’ survival.

All profits from made from Giant Lobster Ale will go straight back into the campaign to protect this legendary creature for good.

The best lobster beer you’ve ever had
What would we know about brewing beer? Not much. That’s why we’re teaming up with the incredible, multi-award winning craft brewer in Tasmania – Moo Brew. Moo Brew beers win at international competitions, and they use the best Tasmanian ingredients to create the freshest, tastiest beers around in the country. So you’re not just saving a species, you’re also getting a refreshing, highly drinkable beer.

The Challenges
We're teaming up with one of Australia's leading craft breweries so many of the biggest challenges are taken care of.

Other challenges:
- Not using a protected species as a bottle opener.
- Not drinking all the beer ourselves.
- Keeping it frosty en route to Frydenberg's office.

Commit to Keeping the Giant Freshwater Lobster (and having a brew or two) HERE

New Legislation To Imrove Air Quality

Media release: 10 August 2017 - The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy
The Turnbull Government has today introduced new legislation to help improve Australia’s air quality.

The Product Emissions Standards Bill will allow new product emissions standards to be established on small spark engines (non-road), bringing us into line with the US, Canada and Europe.

Currently emissions from these engines are not regulated in Australia, leaving Australia as a dumping ground for less efficient products that cannot be sold in other countries.

The standards will be phased in over two years and reduce noxious air pollution from petrol-powered outdoor equipment and marine outboards which release high amounts of harmful air pollutants.

For example, a two-stroke leaf blower can produce the same amount of hydrocarbons as 150 cars, while on summer weekends in cities where the use of garden equipment is high, small petrol engines can contribute up to 10 per cent of air pollution.

Following extensive consultation with key stakeholders, the new emissions standards will strengthen Australia’s capacity to manage air quality nationally and deliver an estimated $1.72 billion in avoided health costs over a 20 year period.

The Turnbull Government is also providing $1 million funding to support surf life saving clubs upgrade to cleaner outboard engines that meet the new emissions standards.

The Department of the Environment and Energy has partnered with Surf Life Saving Australia to deliver grants of up to $1,000 per clean outboard engine over the next four years to support this important organisation and its clubs across Australia.

Keeping Pests At Bay The Hi-Tech Way

9 August 2017: CSIRO
With pest animals estimated to cost the Australian economy up to $1 billion a year, CSIRO scientists have developed a humane new technology that could help save Australian farmers' crops and livelihoods.

After successfully scaring away elephants from farms and crops in Africa, scientists are trialling the Vertebrate Pest Detect-and-Deter (VPDaD) technology in Australia against pests such as ducks, cockatoos, rabbits, wild dogs and more, starting in Queensland's Lockyer Valley.

"Ultimately we want to scale-up the technology and roll it out across Australia," CSIRO scientist Dr Ash Tews said.

"The idea here is that we can adapt as necessary."

The technology works by detecting and identifying animals as they come close to farms or crops, and emitting a tailored series of sounds and lights to humanely scare them away before they cause damage.

In Australia, vertebrate pest animals can cause many thousands of dollars' damage in a single dining experience, causing real problems for farmers' orchards, vegetable and cereal crops, and potentially for livestock during critical periods of development or birthing events.

In addition to the feasibility study underway in the Lockyer Valley, CSIRO is looking to partner with local agribusinesses to continue testing and trialling the technology in Australia, aiming to help primary industries facing problems with an array of animals including ducks, cockatoos, rabbits, feral pigs, wallabies, foxes and dingoes.

The previous trial was conducted in Gabon, Africa, where elephants can present a significant problem for villagers and agricultural communities, capable of destroying a community's entire season's worth of crops overnight.

In collaboration with agribusiness company Olam International, the VPDaD technology was successfully used to prevent elephants from destroying fruit crops.

"One of the interesting issues with existing deterrent technologies is that, not only do animals become de-sensitised to them, but smarter ones can even learn to use the deterrents as an indication of a food source, which is the opposite of their purpose," Dr Tews said.

"Our autonomous technology allows the system to recognise animal behaviours in response to deterrents and modify the deterrent strategy until the desired effect is achieved.

"This allows the system to be more effective over long periods of time such as the key threat times during crop growing."

The VPDaD technology consists of two systems: a motion sensor device, and a collection of cameras that can pick up images and heat signatures of an animal, with lights and sounds which function as the deterrent for pests.

CSIRO technology specifically developed for the camera program allows the computer to recognise and classify animals based on the images captured.

In addition to looking at how animals respond to perceived threats, the scientists are also looking at longer-term aspects, such as analysing deterrent effectiveness and animal movements over seasons.
CSIRO researchers Dr Ash Tews and Dr Philip Valencia with the Vertebrate Pest Detect and Deter technology (VPDaD).

It’s Nearly Magpie Swooping Season

by BirdLife Australia
It’s that time of year again. As the days gradually begin to grow longer and the weather warms up, many birds begin to build their nests and lay their eggs. Their number includes Australian Magpies.

Because magpies are one of the most common birds in built-up areas, as well as in rural environments, they often come into contact with us. For most of the year, people are happy to interact with magpies, but with the arrival of the breeding season, the situation’s not always so happy.

Magpie breeding season is dreaded by many people because of the perception that at this time of year the birds relentlessly swoop at people, both on foot or riding bicycles, as well as dogs and anything else that moves.

Though wide-held, this perception is not altogether accurate.

Although it’s true that spring is magpie swooping season, it should be noted that not all magpies swoop at people. In fact, it is generally quite a small proportion of them that are aggressive towards humans. Most of the birds that attack are males, though, indeed, most male magpies don’t attack, and those that do usually only become aggressive when people venture too close to the nest tree.

Although the timing of swooping behaviour varies between the different regions of Australia, most swooping activity occurs in mid- to late spring, during the brief period when there are magpie chicks in the nest, with the intensity of attacks increasing gradually as the nestlings grow. Few magpies attack before their eggs have hatched, and the attacks usually drop off after the chicks have fledged (left the nest). It’s a brief window, but one that can be traumatic for people being swooped.

There are a few things you can do to prevent being swooped, but nothing is guaranteed to work.
  • The most sensible method is to avoid walking or riding near trees where magpies are nesting.
  • If you can’t avoid the area, try wearing a hat or carrying an umbrella for protection; cyclists can attach a forest of cable-ties to their helmets.
  • Attach eye spots to the back of your hat.
  • Wave a stick above your head as you walk past.
  • Keep an eye on the bird; he’s much less likely to attack if he knows he’s been sussed.
  • Above all, don’t harass the birds. Though tempting, it will only make them more aggressive. And remember, harming magpies is against the law.
For more information, see Magpie Alert, by Darryl Jones (UNSW Press, Sydney).

Avalon Boomerang Bags: An Idea That's Spreading To Stop Plastic Bag Use

Avalon Boomerang Bags - now at North Avalon shops - A J Guesdon photo, 25.5.2017

Petition: Rescind Adani's Unlimited Water License And Support Aussie Farmers!

As Queensland farmers, water is crucial for our livelihoods. As our climate gets hotter and drier, our water resources are even more precious. We call on the Queensland Premier to rescind the unlimited, free 60-year water license they are proposing to grant to the Adani coal mine.

My name is Angus Emmott and I'm proud to be a third generation grazier from Longreach in outback Queensland. I'm committed to a sustainable future for farming in Australia and ask you for your support to protect our precious groundwater. 

In Queensland, the proposed Adani-owned Carmichael coal mine has been granted unlimited access to groundwater. The mine, the biggest of nine proposed for the Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton, is expected to draw 26 million litres of water per day from its pits. Over its life this mine alone would total 355 billion litres of water and modelling already demonstrates that 2 springs will be shut down.

As farmers we are angry about the special deal struck by the Queensland government to give Adani free water for its proposed coal mine. I am launching this petition today to call upon Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to support Aussie farmers and to rescind the water licenses that allow Adani access to unlimited water for 60 years.

All over the country, farmers are battling to stop fossil fuel mining and fracking on their land. Nearly 90% of Queensland is currently drought declared, so why are we giving an Indian billionaire access to unlimited groundwater for a new coal mine?

I'm asking all Australians, to stand with me in calling upon the Premier to rescind this approval before irrevocable damage is done to our groundwater systems and the long term sustainability of Queensland agriculture. 

Angus Emmott with Farmers for Climate Action

$9 Million Ryde Hospital Upgrade Completed

11 August 2017: NSW Health Media Release
Ryde residents are the big winners following the completion of a two-year upgrade, which includes two new wards and state-of-the-art facilities at Ryde Hospital. 

Member for Ryde Victor Dominello and Health Minister Brad Hazzard toured the new Critical Care Unit – for intensive care and cardiac patients – as well as the general medical Ward 2 today. 

Mr Dominello welcomed the upgrade, which provides more floor space, better room configuration and increased levels of comfort for local patients and their visitors. 

“I have a special affinity with Ryde Hospital as my sisters and I were all born here,” Mr Dominello said. 

“I am pleased that the NSW Government has delivered on its commitment, investing $9 million in upgrading and improving the hospital’s facilities.” 

Minister Hazzard said the new Critical Care Unit is a major development for the treatment of seriously ill or injured patients at Ryde Hospital. 

“This major upgrade brings Ryde Hospital well and truly into the 21st century,” Mr Hazzard said. 

“I’m particularly pleased that the new Critical Care Unit also features a room specifically designed for palliative care patients, giving patients in the final stages of life more comfort and privacy to be with their loved ones,” Mr Hazzard said. 

New air conditioning, equipment, furniture and art works ensure the wards are as comfortable and pleasant as possible for patients and visitors. 

Mr Dominello and Mr Hazzard also met with Mums@Ryde to discuss upgrades to the birthing unit, which include expansion of the birth unit area, co-location of antenatal clinics into the birth unit, painting, improved mobile phone coverage and creation of a new large waiting/family room. 

It is pleasing to see that having advocated alongside the Mums@Ryde the birthing unit is currently receiving an upgrade,” Mr Dominello said. 

Fourth M Chimaera Case Confirmed In NSW

11 August 2017: NSW Health
A fourth heart surgery patient in NSW – a man in his 60s – has been confirmed with Mycobacterium chimaera infection following exposure to the rare bacteria from open heart surgery equipment used worldwide.

Like the previous three M chimaera cases in NSW, the patient underwent open heart surgery, which included a valve replacement, at Prince of Wales Hospital in 2015.

Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said NSW Health was first notified of the risk posed by contaminated heater-cooler units in 2016 and has written to every patient who had faced potential exposure to equipment in NSW public hospitals.

While the overall risk of M chimaera infections after cardiac surgery is very low, Dr Chant said patients who underwent open heart surgery in the general period between 2012 and August 2016 should be alert to symptoms including fevers, increasing or unusual shortness of breath, and unexplained weight loss.

The time period of risk varies by hospital so patients and their doctors are encouraged to check the details listed for their hospital in the NSW Health M chimaera fact sheet.

“Because M chimaera are slow-growing bacteria, patients will need to remain alert for symptoms of infection for five years after their open heart surgery involving the affected equipment, particularly if surgery included implants, such as heart valves, and seek medical advice straight away if symptoms develop,” Dr Chant said.

“Early identification of these infections is critical because it allows for early treatment to begin and this leads to better patient outcomes.”

"We have been communicating with heart surgery patients at the four NSW public hospitals that used the affected equipment at Prince of Wales, St George, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick.

“We have also sent information and updates to GPs, specialists and laboratories and to private hospitals to alert them to the situation and enable them to support patients.

The machines at all four hospitals have been either replaced or removed.

More than 100 patients worldwide have been affected by the equipment linked to M chimaera infection. Equipment is thought to have been contaminated during manufacture. The first case in Australia was confirmed in Queensland last year.

Patients seeking further details can contact the following information lines:
  • ​South Eastern Sydney Local Health District –1800 875 526 (8am – 4pm, excluding weekends and public holidays)
  • Sydney Children’s Hospital Network – 02 9845 3442 (8am – 5pm, excluding weekends and public holidays).
For further information please see the NSW Health Fact Sheet.

Sacred Objects Return Home After 100 Years

7 August 2017
In July 2017, Museums Victoria repatriated 26 sacred objects to Arrernte elders in Alice Springs, under the Indigenous Repatriation Program.

Arrernte elders identified the objects from the Museums Victoria collection to be returned and stored at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory’s (MAGNT) Strehlow Research Centre. The Centre has worked closely with the Arrernte elders to ensure storage and access to the objects is consistent with Arrernte cultural protocols.

A handover ceremony was held to welcome the return of these sacred objects to the Arrernte community after being held in the Museums Victoria collection for over 100 years. It is important that the museums sector works closely with communities to ensure a successful and smooth repatriation process. 

The Australian Government’s domestic Indigenous Repatriation Program supports the repatriation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains and secret sacred objects held in major Australian museums to their communities of origin.

Find out more:
Image courtesy of Museums Victoria. Photo credit: Adam MacFie 

ASIC Warns Customers About Scam Emails

August 7th, 2017
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has again warned its Registry customers to be vigilant of scam emails purporting to be from ASIC.

Some customers continue to receive emails claiming to be from ASIC, containing attachments or links to fake invoices. These fake emails appear similar to ASIC emails and generally instruct the recipient to click on a link or download an invoice.

Scammers use a variety of deceptive methods to elicit payments, spread software viruses, install spyware or malware programs to access or steal personal information.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said, 'It is always important to be wary of unsolicited emails that demand payment or contain suspicious attachments or links, especially if you have never dealt with the organisation they are from.'

An email will not be from ASIC if it asks you:
  • to make a payment over the phone
  • to make a payment to receive a refund
  • for your credit card or bank details directly by email or phone
  • to download software to your electronic device
and is probably a scam.

To help protect yourself online, you should: 
  • keep all anti-virus, malware and spyware protection software current
  • avoid clicking on any suspicious links
  • ensure you have a firewall and it is up-to-date; and
  • scan email attachments with security software before opening them - especially if they are executable (.exe) files or zip (.zip) files. These files are more likely to contain malware or ransomware viruses.
Anyone unsure about the authenticity of an email, can visit the ASIC website for more information, at

ASIC's MoneySmart website has some great tips about protecting yourself from online scams at

Anyone affected by a scam can report it to the ACCC via the Scamwatch 'Report a scam' page.

$5 Million To Push Australian Innovations Towards Commercial Reality

7 August 2017: Media Release - Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

A process to convert waste plastics into fuel and chemicals, a fashion fitting solution for online shoppers and a new energy storage system are among eight Australian innovations to share in $5 million to help them become commercial reality.

The assistance under the Entrepreneurs’ Programme Accelerating Commercialisation element will help turn the business’ good ideas into marketable products through market trials, upscaling, proving new technology, and connecting with markets.

The innovations offered commercialisation assistance include a solution to the bane of online fashion buyers and sellers, poorly fitting clothing. Style Atlas is a fashion fitting solution that allows customers to know if the clothing they want to buy online will fit.

1414 Degrees will develop a commercial-scale demonstration system for a low cost and highly scalable energy storage system that can be sited anywhere on an electricity grid, including small industrial sites.

Once again, the successful applicants include a pleasing mix of businesses based in regional and metropolitan areas around Australia.

This funding is offered on a dollar-matched basis to help Australian businesses turn their great ideas into commercial realities in Australian and international markets, growing businesses and jobs for Australians.

Entrepreneurs’ Programme Commercialisation Advisers will work with the successful applicants at each step of what can at times be a challenging path to commercialisation.

Other successful applications include:
  • Technology with the potential to divert end of life waste plastics from landfill to conversion into a Plasticrude which can be distilled into valuable fuels and chemicals,
  • Commercialisation of a blockchain-enabled commodity management and finance solution creating efficiencies for those in the agricultural supply chain including managing contracts, deliveries and inventory, and
  • An electromechanical load management system that replaces human-held rope taglines making crane operations safer in construction and logistics industries.
Accelerating Commercialisation Director Larry Lopez said 242 Australian innovators have accessed more than $122 million in assistance from the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

“This funding helps entrepreneurs, researchers and businesses take good ideas that have been developed into working prototypes of novel products, processes or services, along the commercialisation pathway to market and generating revenue,” Mr Lopez said.

Information on how to apply for commercialisation assistance through the Entrepreneurs’ Programme is available and for information on the grant funding offers

ASC Pays Tribute To 'Golden Girl' Betty Cuthbert AM

August 7th, 2017
The Australian Sports Commission joins the entire sporting community to pay tribute to Betty Cuthbert AM, MBE, who has passed away aged 79.

A four-time Olympic champion, Ms Cuthbert was a pioneer for Australian female sprinters and a true legend of track and field.

ASC Chair John Wylie said: “As one of the original Golden Girls, her legend will forever remain in our memories. Our deepest sympathies to her family and friends.”

ASC CEO Kate palmer said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Betty’s passing. She represented a remarkable era in Australian sport and was an icon for female athletes and women’s sport everywhere.”

Cuthbert was the first Australian to become a triple Olympic gold medallist, winning three gold medals as an 18-year-old at the 1956 Melbourne Games in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. She came out of athletic retirement to win the 400m at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It completed an historic clean-sweep of all Olympic sprint events.

Ms Cuthbert was fittingly honoured when the Olympics returned to Australia, carrying the torch during the opening ceremony for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

CASA: Fatigue Rules Review Team Appointed

Monday 7th August: CASA
A team of leading international specialists will conduct an independent review of the new fatigue rules.

The review will benchmark the new fatigue regulations against those of other leading aviation countries and regulators including the European Aviation Safety Agency, New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

It will look at results of investigations into fatigue related accidents and incidents and how CASA's philosophy and approach to fatigue regulation compares with that of other transport regulators and high-risk industries.

The outcomes of the review will provide CASA with an informed basis for finalising the reform of the fatigue rules for air operators and pilots.

Dédale Asia Pacific has assembled a team of specialists to carry out the review, which will provide a full report and recommendations to the CASA Board early in 2018.

The specialists have experience and expertise in studying the effects of fatigue on operational performance in a range of safety critical industries, as well as developing and evaluating fatigue models.

They have worked with airlines and other transport operators to implement effective fatigue risk management systems.

The chairman of CASA's Board, Jeff Boyd, welcomed the appointment of the fatigue review team.

"This is a group of well qualified people with expertise in the right areas who will look at key fatigue issues and provide independent advice to CASA," Mr Boyd said.

"The review team will examine feedback previously provided to CASA and will establish a mechanism to engage extensively with industry and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that all views are considered. CASA will ensure that any proposed changes flowing from the review will be subject to appropriate consultation."

CASA will extend the implementation period for new fatigue regulations by six months to enable sufficient time for the review to be carried out and recommendations to be considered.

Air operators will be required to submit their draft operations manual changes or an application for a fatigue risk management system to CASA by 30 April 2018 and complete the transition to the new fatigue rules by 31 October 2018.

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.